MADISON, Wis. – Junior defensive end J.J. Watt has been chosen as one of eight semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced on Wednesday.
The honor annually goes to the defensive college football player who best reflects the attributes of integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
On Monday, Watt was also named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. He is only one of five players in the country named as a semifinalist for each honor.
Watt leads the Badgers, ranks second in the Big Ten and is tied for the sixth in the country with 16.0 tackles for loss this season. He also leads the Badgers and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 6.0 sacks on the year. Watt is fourth on the team with 43 tackles and is tied for second on the team with six pass breakups.
In addition, the Pewaukee, Wis., native has blocked two kicks this year. At Iowa, he blocked an extra point in the first quarter that proved to be the difference in a 31-30 victory for the Badgers.
Also a candidate for the Nagurski Trophy and the Hendricks Award, Watt has been at his best against some of Wisconsin's best competition. In a two-week stretch against No. 1 Ohio State and No. 13 Iowa, Watt registered nine tackles, 3.0 sacks, 5.0 TFLs, one quarterback hurry and the blocked kick. For his performances, Watt was twice named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week.
Watt looks to become the first Badger to win the award, though Jim Leonhard was a finalist in 2004.
Ballots will be sent to over 370 members of the Lott Trophy National Voter Panel, a list that includes Hall of Fame coaches and players, select members of the media and distinguished business leaders throughout the country.
Voting for the four finalists will take place from Nov. 12 through Nov. 24. The finalists will be flown to Newport Beach, Calif., where the winner of the seventh annual Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at the Pacific Club.
Courtesy: UW Press Release